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Karibow: Holphinium

Sometimes I wonder where I've been the last few years. Karibow is yet another band that had yet to catch my attention before I received their latest disc Holophinium in the mail. The German melodic/neo prog band has been around since 1996 and have at least seven full length albums, a number of EPs, a soundtrack and a compilation to their credit. A fair body of work and I have to say I was looking forward to digging into this one especially considering this was released on the excellent Progressive Promotion Records label.

Karibow is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Oliver Rüsing (lead and backing vocals, drums, guitars, bass, keyboards) and he has assembled an outstanding cast of musicians including Michael Sadler (lead and backing vocals), Sean Timms (lead and backing vocals), Colin Tench (guitars), Karsten Stiers (lead and backing vocals), Jörg Eschrig (mandolin, vocals), Daniel Neustadt (fretless bass), Chris Thomas (acoustic guitars) and Markus Bergen (keyboards).

This is a two CD set with the first disc titled The Fragments. The short intro "Distant Movements" starts things off with waves of effects and layered keyboards. The vibe is serene and dreamy and quickly leads into the title track where guitars immediately burst forth. The staccato riffage veers into progressive metal but mostly this is sweepingly majestic progressive rock. "E.G.O." is a much more challenging listen and is all the better for it. The cool electronic intro leads into a darker and moodier place. This one has a darker theme, slightly forlorn with excellent guitar and keyboard passages throughout. "Victims of Light" is another stunner beginning with eerie effects and keys before morphing into excellent melodic mid-tempo prog. More highlights include the utterly beautiful "Some Will Fall", the tasty melodic rock of "Connection Refused" and the Saga-like "River" with Sadler providing lead vocals.

Disc 2 is titled Letter From the White Room which also has some standout tracks like the slow orchestral build in "Moon (Part I)", the dynamic riff progressions and soaring guitar in the catchy "Walk on Water (Part II)", the lovely keyboards and atmospherics in the pleasant "Orbital Spirits (Part III)" and the mix of heavy and light in ""Lifelong (Part V)". Disc 2 certainly has more forays into melodic rock and even AOR then disc 1 but it is still a fine listen by any standards.

The entire package is beautifully bound in a fourfold digi-pack with full song lyrics and exceptional artwork. Melodic rock fans and those who appreciate the catchy side of prog rock will surely find a place for Karibow in their CD collection. Another classy production from Progressive Promotion Records.

Track Listing:
DISC 1: The Fragments
1. Distant Movements (1:44)
2. Holophinium (6:06)
3. E.G.O. (11:28)
4. Victims of Light (6:55)
5. Some Will Fall (4:07)
6. Connection Refused (4:35)
7. River (6:04)
8. Angel Scent (5:59)
9. King (5:04)
10. Quantum Leap (8:59)
DISC 2: Letter From the White Room
1. Moon (Part I) (2:15)
2. Walk on Water (Part II) (7:35)
3. Orbital Spirits (Part III) (5:04)
4. Eden (Part IV) (6:39)
5. Lifelong (Part V) (7:53)
6. Part of the Century (Part VI) (2:52)
7. Plutonium (Part VII) (3:52)

Added: October 31st 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1319
Language: english

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